Friday, June 16, 2017

Exercise is on for consensus on presidential nominee

With the announcement of presidential election, NDA govt. has swung into action for building consensus on the name of the candidate for the top and most prestigious post of the nation. The opposition led by Congress Party had been huddling for a few months to put up a joint opposition candidate for presidential election. The presidential election is going to be held on July 17. As far as the number is concerned, it is comfortably in favour of the ruling NDA. But to develop consensus to avoid contest for the top constitutional post of the country, the ruling BJP has formed a three-member panel of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Urban Development and Information and Broadcasting Minister Venkaih Naidu and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to reach out to the opposition leaders to develop consensus. It is a good move. Mr. Rajnath Singh and Venkaih Naidu have met Congress President Sonia Gandhi to talk about the presidential election. But no name has been disclosed either by the ruling or opposition parties. Opposition parties led by Congress want the presidential nominee to be of secular image and known for promoting multi-religious, multilingual approach in the society. However, the ruling BJP wants the presidential nominee to be of its ideological belief. In the given political situation in the country, it is a foregone conclusion that the present ruling dispensation with brute majority in Lok Sabha and historic victory in the recently concluded UP assembly elections would never be agreeable to the candidate propped by the opposition. In the same way, the opposition cannot agree on the name of candidate for the post of President chosen by the ruling party. So, the contest in the presidential election between the ruling BJP-led NDA and the Congress-led opposition nominees is a foregone conclusion. Shiv Sena, one of the oldest allies of BJP, appears to be not supporting the presidential candidate other than the RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat put forwarded by BJP. It is BJP’s problem to bring Shiv Sena round its view. So, as far as the consensus is concerned, it is very difficult to be built up on two opposite ideological blocks. As the number is in favour of the ruling dispensation, it is merely an exercise to show that the govt. wants consensus on the name of the nominee for the post of President. The ruling BJP doesn’t not appear to be in favour of extending the term of the incumbent President Pranab Mukherjee for the second consecutive time. It wants its own nominee. An opposition is also reportedly mulling the idea of making Gopal Krishna Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, as its candidate in the presidential election. Though BJP panel would meet every top opposition party leaders to reach on a unanimous candidate, unanimity appears quite impossible unless and until it declares the name of its nominee. The post of President is the highest constitutional post of the country. It is necessary for both the ruling and the opposition to support the candidate, who is known for his integrity, credibility, impartial character, liberal outlook and approach and highly educated for the post of President of India. As India is a secular, democratic republic, the President must be as such to take care of it. He or she must not only be the titular head. He or She must assert to protect all norms, traditions, and freedom of expression. As President is the supreme commander all the three wings of Indian Armed forces – Infantry, Navy and Air force, he or she must be of high calibre and stature to command respect.

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